The impact of land cover and sea: Breeze on Blackpool’s coastal urban heat island

Damon Waterworth
Department for Geography and Development Studies, University of Chester


This research quantifies Blackpool’s urban heat island (UHI) by examining land cover, sea-breezes and human comfort. Meteorological data, including dry-bulb temperature and relative humidity measurements, were collected along a 41-kilometre route incorporating a coastal transect during summer 2014. The measurements were obtained utilising a data logger attached to the roof of a vehicle, which captured a total of 18 transverses. Blackpool reported a strong UHI with a maximum intensity of 4.3°C. However, the Irish Sea moderated coastal areas, cooling parts by up to 3°C during the afternoon and warming nearby areas during the evening. The heat indices: Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature, Canadian Humidex and the South African Discomfort Index, revealed that discomfort from high temperatures and humidity reaches moderate-extreme levels at the 95th percentile (or on 5% of days). Urban parks were only effective at mitigating against high temperatures in the evening. This goes against prior research advocating the ‘greening of cities’ to effectively mitigate against the UHI.

Author profile

Damon graduated from the University of Chester in 2015 with a 1st class BSc degree in Geography. Although interested in a wide range of geographical issues, Damon’s primary interests lie in renewable energy and climate research, particularly anthropogenic influences on climate. Therefore, for his undergraduate dissertation Damon researched a well-documented meteorological phenomenon, the ‘Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI)’. The aim was to bridge the gap in the literature surrounding heat stress in temperate cities attributed to the UHI, using open source GIS software to help map its spatial and temporal extent.

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urban heat island, transect, heat indices, land cover, sea breeze, human comfort, mitigation

The Impact of Land Cover and Sea: Breeze on Blackpool’s Coastal Urban Heat Island by Damon Waterworth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Original Papers - Geoverse
ISSN 1758-3411
Editor-in-Chief: Professor Helen Walkington